yoga

Re(Pro) #54: Ruby Warrington

Ruby Warrington

Yep, that’s TSC’s Booze-Free badass mug. Just like Ruby, you can get yours   here  .

Yep, that’s TSC’s Booze-Free badass mug. Just like Ruby, you can get yours here.

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I was introduced to the world of Ruby Warrington through my dear friend Kimber Falkinburg during our
Pink Cloud Collective retreat for sober women entrepreneurs and changemakers last year in Austin, TX. For those of you who don’t know Ruby, she is a FORCE. Ruby is the founder of The Numinous, a community where “wanted to create a place where “Céline shoes and the Celestine Prophecy” could exist in perfect harmony.” In other words, where a material girl could live in a mystical world.

For those of you who have been following along with Ruby and her journey, you’d know that she’s a big-time rah-rah-er — and I mean that in the purest, most cheerleader form of the word — of what it means to be “sober curious.”

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Read on for 1) Ruby’s definition of sober curiosity and 2) how one person can indeed change the world.


xo,
Laura


Name: Ruby Warrington

Age: 42

Location: NYC

Recovery (or quit drinking) date:
I got Sober Curious some time in the fall of 2010 ...

If applicable to your story, drug of choice: Booze

(Recovery) story in a nutshell: I don't identify as being in recovery.
Rather, the past 8 years I've committed to being Sober Curious - which means choosing to question every impulse, invitation, and expectation, to drink. Answering these questions with total integrity has led to longer and longer periods of abstinence during this time, to the point that now I no longer use booze. Period.


Creative niche: I’m a writer

Yep. She’s a writer. Order your copy of this AMAZING book     here     .

Yep. She’s a writer. Order your copy of this AMAZING book here.

Pre-order your copy of Sober Curious (out on NYE 2018)      here     .

Pre-order your copy of Sober Curious (out on NYE 2018) here.

 

Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools:

1) Being honest with myself and others
2) Good boundaries
3) Meditation/yoga
4) Creativity
5) Alcohol-free beer


numinous 1.png
Ruby and her CLUB SODA NYC partner Biet Simkin - some of you may remember her from    She Recovers in       LA   !

Ruby and her CLUB SODA NYC partner Biet Simkin - some of you may remember her from She Recovers in LA!

Connect with Ruby + The Numinous

Websites: www.the-numinous.com | www.clubsoda.nyc
Instagram: @thenuminous | Twitter: @the_numinous
Books: Material Girl, Mystical World and Sober Curious

Re(Pro) #44: Tawny Lara

Tawny Lara

Name: Tawny Lara

Age: 32

Location: New York, NY

Recovery date (turning point for addiction or mental illness): 11/29/2015

Creative niche: Writing / Event Coordination

If applicable to your story, drug of choice:
Jack Daniels, but I loved anything that would help me escape reality.

Your story in a nutshell:

My sobriety began as a year-long experiment. The thought of quitting booze forever seemed overwhelming, so I committed to spending my 30th year sober and blogging about the experience. There have been many ups and downs since I quit drinking, but a sober lifestyle is definitely what works for me. I'm now able to explore my creative side with a focused, productive approach. Sobriety has helped me find my voice as writer, created the space for me to try new things, and allowed me to be more present in my existing relationships. I'm now writing a book and hosting sober socializing events in New York City. It's amazing to see what life has given me after I made the decision to stop getting drunk and high.


Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools:

1. Writing.
2.Yoga.
3. Meditation.
4. Support Group.
5. Friends/Family


Featured Creative Work - Fixed Up

Fixed up

Connect with Tawny.
 

sobrietea

Re(Pro) #29: Tommy Rosen

Tommy Rosen RePro

Tommy Rosen.

Yep, the one and only.  How do I begin to write an introduction on the man who practically wrote the book on a new, holistic recovery? 

Oh wait, he did.*

Tommy is one of the forefathers (foreparents?) of a new recovery, one that takes principles from the 12 steps and also principles from yoga, meditation, wellness, happiness, psychology, etc. and levels recovery up to an even higher plane.  I've had the pleasure of talking to him on the telephone and he's just as lovely and humble as you'd imagine.  Definitely can't believe my lucky stars (yes, I'm fangirling) that he took time out from his very busy schedule of planning a new online conference or globetrotting to India or just sleeping, because hey, the man needs rest, to participate in this gal's #indierecovery project.

I guess Tommy can see that I, too, am trying to elevate my own recovery (10 years this July 14!)- and the recovery of others.

Thank you, Tommy, and #namaste.

xoxo,
Laura


Name: Tommy Rosen

Age: 49

Location: Venice, CA

Recovery date (turning point for mental illness or addiction): 6/23/1991

Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.): Writing and Entrepreneurship

If applicable, drug of choice (or *not* of choice):
Have experienced many addictions
 

 
Nutshell
 

Recovery story in a nutshell:

Had the right idea for a destination, but got on the wrong train.
Got off the wrong train and boarded the express train to the Divine.
Feel better now.
Thriving.


Top 5 Recovery Tools:

1) Spirituality
2) Community
3) Yoga/Meditation
4) 12 steps
5) Therapy


recovery_bookcover.png

*Oh wait.

He totally did write the book...

Here I am posing with the book.  A) Because I'm a ham for the camera, and B) because duh.


Connect with Tommy.

 
Yoga Mala Tommy.
 

Re(Pro) #27: Melissa Johnson

This woman right here is doing magical things. The epitome of service in recovery, Melissa started a nonprofit called Clean Life Clean Home.  I'll let her tell you all about it but suffice it to say, expect big magic from her.  She's also got a well of patience a million feet deep because she's been waiting for her Repro for almost 9 months.  I had the pleasure and HONOR of meeting her in NYC last weekend for #SheRecoversNYC where I got to give her a big hug. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Melissa.

xo,
Laura


Melissa Johnson RePro 27

Name: Melissa Johnson

Age: 37

Location: Norman, OK

Recovery date (turning point for mental illness or addiction): 5/19/2015 

Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.):
Blogging and Non Profit Creator

If applicable, drug of choice (or *not* of choice): Alcohol

Recovery Story in a Nutshell:
I struggled for many years with alcohol. I was always so insecure and self conscious but alcohol gave me the confidence I longed for. I could say and do what I wanted without a care in the world. I didn't care if I blacked out and did things I would never dream of if I was sober, I wanted that carefree feeling. I would chase that feeling for many years through the depths of hell. I have been arrested three times for DUI in Dallas, Texas. I am a three time felon, DUI and two felony child neglect charges. I have multiple misdemeanors all having to do with alcohol. I never cared about going to jail, it was like a time out for me, then I'd be back at it. I never wanted to quit. Ever. After totaling a second car and leaving the scene of the accident to avoid another DUI, I went to an AA meeting and ran like hell to the nearest bar. I wasn't ready. I had many more years of hell to put myself through.

It wasn't until my kids were removed from my home by Dhs for the second time that it clicked. There I was in front of the same judge deciding where my kids would live AGAIN. I finally surrendered. I finally accepted that it will NEVER get better, it will never be fun, it will keep getting worse. It was one thing for me to suffer the consequences of my actions but for my kids to suffer too? I was done. The obsession and desire to escape reality has been removed.

After I found out I would not be going to prison for my latest charge I knew there was something else I was meant to be doing. I felt led to share my story. Not exactly what I wanted to do. Who wants to tell the world they have had their kids removed from the home twice due to their drinking? No one!! But I felt called to do it and I couldn't sleep until I listened to the little voice in my mind. So I fearfully began my blog My Truth Starts Here, because I felt it was time to finally own my truth and to share it without the guilt and shame I have felt for so long. I began sharing all the parts of myself that I wanted to hide, and what a journey it has been.

Almost a year after my kids were removed in May of 2016, I began a nonprofit called Clean Life.Clean Home. where I go in and clean free of charge for a mom or/and dad in recovery, but I also share their story of addiction to recovery. Basically I am being of service, paying it forward to a beautiful sober human being while sharing their story of hope. My goal is to show others out there struggling, that recovery is possible and that they don't have to be ashamed anymore, and just look at all these people getting their house cleaned that have been through hell but have come out the other side better than before.

Top 5 Recovery Tools

1) Blogging!

I get such a release when I type something up and send it out into the Internet. Crazy how much better I feel when I get it out there.

2) Yoga!

Hot yoga is my fave. I love to sweat. I feel amazing afterwards.

3) Running!

I'm definitely not fast. I'm not going to win any races lol. But I love running outside especially early in the morning. Nothing like it.

4) My life coach!

She is amazing and has helped me so much. I am slowly becoming the confident independent woman that I had always tried to be with alcohol.

5) 12 step meetings!

Although I don't have a sponsor and I don't work the steps this time I got sober, I still get so much out of the meetings I go to. I love hearing what people have to say. I always hear what exactly what I need at that moment. Plus I have some amazing friends in AA, I love seeing their beautiful faces.


Connect with Melissa.

Clean Life Melissa

Re(Pro) #5: Robyn Joy

Robyn is one of my new favorite people.  I love love love love her and you will too.  The End!
xoxo,
Laura


Name: Robyn Joy

Age: 39

Location: Vermont

Sobriety date: January 1, 2016 

Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.): 

I've recently gotten really into zines, both as a reader and creator. I got a small grant from Long Distance Love Bombs and have written and published two issues of "Best Intentions" since I stopped drinking. I used to be a painter/assemblage artist and I am finding my way back to that slowly. I have been a performing musician in years past, but I'm currently working on quieter projects at home and using my kitchen as a creative vegetarian studio. I'm also getting married in July, and doing everything DIY including all the decor and my dress, so at the moment I am surrounded by papier mache and heart garland and lace.

Drug of choice (or not of choice...): Booze Booze Booze. So much booze.

Recovery story in a nutshell: 

Erg. This is hard to describe in a short blurb. I was a drunk for a million years, or possibly something like 25. I started drinking when I started forming my personality, discovering my sexuality, exerting my independence. Boy that all turned into a gnarly mess of a girl, but a functional one. I got involved in romantic relationships with the opposite of what my parents hoped for me more often than not, put myself in dangerous and harmful situations because I hated myself so much, and played the victim for as long as I can remember. I drank to feel complete, to feel validated, to feel pretty, to feel confident, to be the fun girl that everyone wanted to be around and love. It didn't work out. It never does, right? I had a lot of continual disasters (sexual assault, self harming, financial trouble, divorce, loss of friendship, etc), but I didn't quit because I hit rock bottom. I hit that a couple times and drank harder. I quit because I was tired and sick and if I wasn't super embarrassed or ashamed by my drunken behavior, I was scaring myself. I went to rehab after I realized I had been blacking out every single night for longer than I'd care to admit or think about. I talked to my job and my fiance and my family and friends through shaky voices and tears sometimes. I spent 3 weeks there. The first two were life changing, mostly because I was taken out of my booze soaked environment. The third was mostly frustrating due to a lot of circumstances, so I ditched a week early (on Thanksgiving day). I was sober for a week at home, but then thought I could try drinking like a normal person. I now know that I do not drink like a normal person and to try is only going to awaken my little gremlin-wolf-snake-beast who's thirst is unquenchable. My last drunk night was new year's eve 2015. I drank lots of wine. I staggered to the store and came back to the apartment with a ridiculous amount of more wine even though I was already slurring. We went to a party and no one was mean or judgmental, but I could feel and see on everyone's face that I was as expected - wasted before 10pm and heading for a train wreck. I got a ride home and was in bed by 11pm and woke up in the morning with a new feeling. I actually wanted to be sober instead of just saying I did. My fiance took me for a walk and he made a video of me dumping the last bottle of wine over a cliff. I haven't had a sip of anything since.

How you stay sober / Tools for a happy recovery:

Reading.
I read a lot more than I used to. I've incorporated reading into my nightly routine, which is so good for me for so many reasons. I listen to books on tape sometimes too. I listened to Alan Carr's "The Easy Way to Control Your Drinking" in my first few weeks of sobriety and felt brainwashed, but in a good way. Currently I am about to finish "Recovery 2.0" by Tommy Rosen - a MUST read if you like the idea of a holistic recovery process, and I'm going to start "Dry" by Augusten Burroughs. There is also a vibrant community of people in recovery on the internet that I read and I look to for further recommendations. And I am an avid reader of recovery zines (or "perzines") and it's easy to get lost in a rabbit hole of wonderful writing there. One writer recommends or mentions another and so on. I am adding to the pool with my own and feel humbled to be part of such a powerful bunch of voices.

Diet and drinking.
I keep myself well stocked with seltzer, either with a full tank in the soda maker or a full 12 pack in the fridge. I make a ritual out of pouring it into a glass and adding fresh lemon, ice and non sugary juice if I am feeling fancy. I know that when I am out, I order a soda with a splash of cran and a lime. I was already eating relatively well, but drunken nights often used to lead to late night junk food binging, laziness, and a lack of concern about my body. I gained 50 pounds in the last few years and continue to struggle with that and ongoing body image issues I was born into. I try to cook a healthy dinner most every night, which is quite a thing sometimes, but it's an important thing, and my skills and creativity constantly improve. Actual diets to lose weight or change my habits drastically tend to make me obsessive and overwhelmed, so I have learned to not be tempted by their promises. I am strictly vegetarian, I read labels and educate myself, and I try to eat whole foods as much as possible, and I think that's the best possible scenario for me. 

Yoga.
This is an imperative part of my self care and growth. I have always enjoyed it, but have never stuck with a routine for very long. In rehab, we had a free yoga and meditation class once a week, and it helped me to remember that I really like it (and once a week is not nearly enough). I came home and committed to spending the time and money on a local yoga studio. I don't always go as often as I would like, and the cost adds up, but lately I have been able to get 3 classes on a regular week and up to 5 or 6 when I am truly on my game. I'm hoping to find a balance at some point and still continue with the studio some, but get a home practice too. I have yet to meditate regularly, other than when I am falling asleep at night, but it is in my future goals as well. 

AA Meetings.
I go to one AA meeting every week. I love this group of people and I don't know that any other meeting is like this one, and I don't honestly care, because I feel like this is all I need. Tommy Rosen's book broke down the process of working the 12 steps and I will most likely give it a go sometime soon, but I haven't gone there yet. People who are way into the program will continue to insist that I get more involved, go to more meetings, devote myself to being of service, blah blah blah, but right now, it is a small piece of my pie.

Therapy.
I have been in therapy for years, so this isn't a new thing. The catch phrase I hear a lot now is "dual diagnosis" - having an addiction paired with mental illness.  I no longer have access to benzodiazepine because of being in recovery, and that can be really hard for me. I do take an anti depressant that also helps with anxiety, but sometimes I have to really pull myself away from panic inducing situations and rely on safe tools I have learned to self soothe. Breathing techniques I have learned in yoga are indispensable, but I often just avoid being in places that I know are going to threaten my mental health. After a lot of reading, I suspect my depression/anxiety and PTSD are actually Bipolar II, but I no longer see a psychiatrist because I don't really like where that leads me. I had a drug/alcohol counselor before rehab and then another one when I came home. They were fine, but very clinical in their approach, and I didn't find either of them super helpful. But my regular therapist has been life saving.

More Self Care [editor's note: YAYYY!!!]: 
I am learning about taking care of myself ahead of everything and anything. I am a die hard codependent person. I become whatever I think will make the most people pleased with me. I don't know how to make choices about simple things like what music to listen to or what shirt to wear or what food I like. I participate in social things for the sake of making people believe I like the right things that will make me the most likable. This is all changing for me in sobriety, and it is both amazing and excruciating. I am REALLY emotional a lot. I want seclusion and independence a lot more than I ever have before, but I also want to fall back into the old me and be taken care of and not have to think for myself. But I have to do what serves me best before I can be a good friend, lover, sister, teacher, or anything. Being sober has been the best thing to happen in my forever healing process so far.


Re(Pro) #2: Olivia Pennelle

Next in the Recovery Profile aka Re(Pro) series is the wonderful, amazing, enthusiastically inspiring Olivia Pennelle.  You may know her as Liv of Liv's Recovery Kitchen, and she's making the digital recovery space a better place, one day at a time ;) 

xoxo, Laura


Name: Olivia Pennelle

Age: 36

Location: Manchester, UK

Sobriety date: 26 March 2012

Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.):
Writing, cooking, creating new recipes, designing and launching Liv’s Recovery Kitchen.

Drug of choice (or not of choice...):
My ‘favourite’ combination was alcohol, cocaine and codeine.

Recovery story in a nutshell:
I was born in the US, to a not-so- functional family; consequently, I ended up in the UK at a young age. I started using at 12/13 years old to mask my feeling of being utterly lost; I had no anchor, and was crippled with anxiety and depression. Using, to me, seemed to ignite a light inside that made me feel whole, albeit temporarily. When I discovered this, I could not stop. I thought it gave me confidence; I was sociable and no longer withdrawn, or seeking solace in food and isolation. I began hanging around with a much older crowd and consequently my use of drugs escalated from the recreational types to more hard drugs. Running parallel to this journey of drug discovery and escapism was a series of dysfunctional and harmful relationships – on both parts - and a hell of a lot of poor choices. As with all stories of addiction, we all trudge down that road of desperation, illness, loss - huge consequences until we die, get hospitalised, end up in an institution, or find recovery. I was close to suicide. I had isolated myself to using on my own, in my apartment, and had few friends left and felt utterly broken. Disconnection can’t begin to describe that chasm I was left with. I was left with two choices: live or die. I chose to get help. And I attended my first AA meeting. I haven’t had a drink since and was four years sober on 26 March 2016. It’s not all rosy. I still continued taking codeine inappropriately, and was in such denial that I didn’t see it was an issue. It was only in ‘cleaning house’, that another like-minded person suggested that I was an addict. My work had revealed that whilst alcohol brought me to my knees, there is a long, long history of drug use. I later found my home in NA, and will celebrate 4 years clean on 5 August 2016.

Top 5 tools for recovery (from drug/alcohol/food addiction, mental illness, etc):
I love this question. I believe that the foundation of my recovery is rooted in connection and spirituality. I achieve it through: 

1. Writing.
This is my number one tool. I have written in journals since my first week in recovery. It connects my mind and spirit and I feel there is great power in connecting pen and paper. My writing takes two forms: journaling and writing my blog.

a. Journaling:
i. I write in the morning: my plan for the day, how I feel, any reflections.
ii. I write in the evening: I write about my day and acknowledge what I on a daily reading, any troubles/worries; have done right that day – this is one thing I cannot recommend enough.  I write through any resentment, 3 things I am grateful for, what I have invested in my recovery and sometimes make a list of things I need to do the next day. 

b. Blogging:
This I started in my third year of recovery and it has been invaluable. It’s cathartic to share my journey. Initially its purpose was to share my weight loss journey in recovery, but it has morphed into so much more. I now write interviews with others in the wider recovery community, share recipes and blog about my recovery. 

2. Talking.
I need to connect with other like-minded people. I need to hear I am not alone. There is great power in the collective empathy of other people in recovery. I speak to at least one of three close friends daily. I don’t want to, but I have to. 

3. Meetings.
I attend two NA meetings a week and I do service. I am still yet to figure out the reason why I still go. It could be the 90 minutes silence, the connection with other like-minded people, the collective empathy, the giving of myself or the sharing for the newcomer. I need to hear how others feel and are coping with their life. 

4. Exercise and good nutrition.
I damaged my body so much that I now try to invest in myself through nourishing activities. I need to sweat, daily, for my mental health and fitness. I ride a bike as a mode of transport, and workout about 4/5 times a week. I am trying to lose weight and spend a lot of time researching and sharing healthy recipes and lifestyle. 

5. Yoga.
It is spirituality to me. It connects the dots between my mind-body- soul. I feel utterly at peace and more in harmony when I regularly practise it. That’s not to say I don’t have to remind myself, all the time, about the need to go to a class. 
 


Connect with Liv: